The Man Behind the McNugget

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Who's your daddy?

Slate delves deep into the life of Cornell professor and "chicken savant" Robert C. Baker, who grew up during the Great Depression and invented dozens of edibles made with chickens, eggs, and by-products, including the Chicken McNugget. Baker created the techniques that made the McDonald's product possible, though Slate notes a "representative said there is no record of contact with him." In a parallel channel of mysterious junk-food origin stories is the tale of John "Doc" Pemberton, who invented Coca-Cola in the late 1880s. Though the Atlanta-based corporation has for years depicted the soft drink's inventor as a vaguely stocky, heavily bearded man, The Wall Street Journal reports that a sleuthy-type in Maine recently paid $17,825 for a photo of a man he believes to be the real Pemberton. The Coca-conspirators believe the soda company has in fact been using the image of an unpopular Confederate general for a long time. [Slate, WSJ]